There is a wealth of learning and wellness right in our back yard. Founded in 2013, Sand Hills Community Wellness Center is a safe haven of learning, growing, and health for area residents. Located nearby in Kendall Park on the grounds of Grace Presbyterian Church, the Center is truly focused on community. “Everyone, regardless of origin, affiliation, or financial resource, is welcome to engage in the extensive services the Center offers,” says Director Maryann Rappa.

The Wellness Center provides a world of options. Adults and children enjoy a wide range of activities including yoga; massage; Reiki, a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing; meditation; judo for children; and CPR certification, to name a few. Beth Scibienski, Reiki Master and Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church is co-facilitating a Reiki retreat this coming April 22 and 23.

“Judo classes are taught by a black belt instructor,” explains Rappa. “Our yoga classes are run by Integral Yoga and include chair yoga for anyone with mobility concerns. We also offer psychotherapy for all ages along with life coaching. Insurance is taken and there are sliding rates available. Stress and anxiety reduction, depression, grief and loss counseling, and substance abuse are just a few of the issues we assist with.”

One of the most sought-after programs is the Garden State Community Kitchen. Founded by Allison O’Brien, the kitchen provides hands-on farm-to-table culinary education for children and families. “Preparing meals and sharing this knowledge with their families makes learning nutrition fun. This summer the older children will have the chance to plan out their own vision of a restaurant from planning menus to designing the decor,” Rappa says proudly.

“In addition to the Garden State Community Kitchen, the companion Suppers Programs works to create friendly spaces for individuals to transition their way to a more nutritious, healthier lifestyle. Members learn to cook, taste, and feel their way to vibrant health by running food experiments, cooking together, and enjoying a meal accompanied by guided discussion.”

Another innovative program is the Family Constellations workshops. Often people struggle with issues that have roots in the hidden dynamics from their family system. In a Family Constellations workshop, participants examine the source of difficulties and emerge with a new way of seeing and being.

City Kidz World is a year-round, comprehensive educational program focusing on language arts, math, science, and the arts. Students attack their weaknesses and strengthen their reading, writing, and math skills. Classes are offered in small groups of less than three students per teacher. There are also business courses for busy adults who are trying to improve e-mail or conversational English.

Rappa encourages: “Take a glance at the schedule of classes on the website for Sand Hills Community Wellness Center at, it shows the rich diversity of services and programs. Come explore and expand horizons, learn life balance and experience our rich community.”

Sand Hills Community Wellness Center, 57 Sand Hills Road, Kendall Park.

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